As part of Loneliness Awareness Week, we are celebrating the one year anniversary of Extra Time Hubs and highlighting stories of individuals whose lives have been positively impacted from the project.
We’re also showcasing how EFL Club Community Organisations have continued to provide support to a vulnerable section of society throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
EFL Trust’s Extra Time Hub sessions are delivered by 11 EFL Clubs and are designed for those aged 55 with support from National Lottery funding from Sport England.
Extra Time Hubs are designed to engage retired and semi-retired people by harnessing the power of their local football clubs and to combat both loneliness and inactivity.
Maureen has been a part of Derby County Community Trust’s Forever Active programme for over three years. She first started as a participant but wanted to give back to the Trust and help others, so she became a volunteer with the Trust in early 2019.
Maureen said: “Being a volunteer with Derby County Community Trust has given me a huge confidence boost and increased my own wellbeing, knowing that I am helping others to be both physically and socially active.”
She started off supporting the weekly Stability session for over 60s but soon after she started volunteering we began planning for the launch of our Extra Time Hub. Immediately, Maureen asked to be a part of this session and has played a pivotal role ever since, from setting up the session each fortnight to keeping everyone supplied with plenty of tea and coffee!
Maureen has not only helped those within the sessions but she has also helped people with their transition into joining the group. She is always happy about seeing people achieve their goals and progressing. She commits five hours per week to the Trust and is always the first to arrive and the last to leave.
During the COVID-19 pandemic she has been engaged in several group chats and is helping Jon (Physical Activity and Health Coach) to set challenges and encourage people to be more interactive in the group. As she has made friends within the group, she is calling them to make sure they are ok and if they need help in getting online to attend the virtual groups that are on offer.
Jon Fairbrother, Physical Activity and Health Coach added: “Maureen always has a smile on her face and is willing to help anyone. “Her enthusiasm encourages the group to continue to attend and has helped with social activities away from the group too, which has been so important during lockdown.”